European Commission recognises five Finnish cities’ climate work – Espoo, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Tampere and Turku set example for European cities

PUBLISHED 5/28/2024, 15:55

In March, the European Commission awarded the cities of Espoo, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Tampere and Turku the prestigious EU Mission Label in recognition of their systematic work to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. The Climate-Neutral Europe is Made Together event, held on 28 May in Espoo, brought together the key makers of the carbon-neutral cities at local, national and EU level. The cities emphasise the growing importance of the green transition for success in climate work, along with close cooperation with companies, research and communities.

Viiden kaupungin edustajat juhlistavat kaupunkien vastaanottamia Mission Label -tunnuksia osoituksena suunnitelmallisesta ja vaikuttavasta työstä kohti hiilineutraaliutta vuonna 2030.

The Finnish Mission Label cities celebrated their impressive climate cooperation together with the European Commission, the state, companies and stakeholders at the Espoo Cultural Centre on 28 May 2024. The Finnish cities are frontrunners in the European Commission’s Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities, which aims to deliver 100 climate-neutral and smart European cities by 2030 and to set an example for other European cities.

The Commission approved the Climate City contracts of Espoo, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Tampere and Turku in March, awarding them the EU Mission Label, which has only been achieved by 33 climate pioneers in Europe. In the Climate City contracts, the cities described the actions, cooperation, commitments and investments through which they will achieve their ambitious carbon-neutrality targets by the end of the decade. In addition to local stakeholders, the Finnish government will contribute to the Climate City contracts with its own commitment.

− Congratulations to all five Finnish cities that received the EU Mission Label this year! These cities will receive additional support from the EU to achieve their ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2030. I look forward to following their work closely and supporting the transformation of ambitious plans into projects, says Patrick Child, Deputy Director General at DG Environment for the European Commission and Mission Manager for the Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission, who visited Espoo.

The Climate-Neutral Europe is Made Together event presented the achievements and cooperation projects of Espoo, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Tampere and Turku on their journey towards carbon neutrality. Representatives of the cities, central government and key partners got together to share best practices and examples of climate-proof solutions in energy, transport, construction and European cooperation. The participants had the opportunity to learn from each other’s success stories, participate in discussions and network with other climate workers.

Growing cities play a key role in accelerating the growth of green exports and attracting the experts and investments needed to ensure that Finland and Europe maintain their position as global climate pioneers. All this is done in close cooperation with local communities, partners and other stakeholders.

− Achievement of the goal of a carbon-neutral Finland by 2035 and a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050 will be up to cities. We, the Finnish pioneering cities, hope that the EU and the state will commit to ambitious climate actions that will create investments, vitality and wellbeing in cities. Espoo’s climate cooperation involves the key companies and operators of the innovation community. We can only achieve our goals together, says Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo, who hosted the event.

Six Finnish cities are developing their climate work further in the EU’s Pilot Cities Programme related to the Climate Mission, where they develop and test local climate solutions with EU support, aiming at rapid emission reductions and systemic decarbonisation.


City of Espoo
Elina Wanne, Development Manager
Tel: +358 40 552 4209, elina.wanne@espoo.fi

Regarding the city of Lappeenranta
Ilkka Räsänen, Environmental Director
Tel: +358 40 081 5284, Ilkka.rasanen@lappeenranta.fi

The Climate-Neutral Europe is Made Together event was organised as part of the EU-funded SPARCS project. The five-year project launched in 2019 explores and demonstrates innovative solutions for the design and deployment of smart and more sustainable energy systems to develop the city in a carbon-neutral and energy-positive direction together with residents and partners. In addition, the project has looked at more sustainable mobility solutions and developed the functionality of transport hubs.


Patrick Child, Deputy Director General for the Environment of the European Commission; Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo; Ilkka Sasi, Deputy Mayor of Tampere; Milla Bruneau, City Councillor of Lahti; Risto Veivo, Climate Director of the City of Turku; and Ilkka Räsänen, Environmental Director of the City of Lappeenranta, celebrate the Mission Labels received by the cities in recognition of their systematic and impressive work towards carbon neutrality by 2030.